the old caldera and crater rims of toba which turn into volcanic lake plus a small islet of samosir are the perfect combination for something laid back.
we’re start our journey by bus from medan heading to pematangsiantar then stay over night at siantar hotel –an old building which used as nica headquarter during second world war– and in the next morning is continuing to parapat and sailing to samosir.
first time landed from wooden boat in samosir, well … seems unfriendly mass-transportation guys approaching us. but finally we got a trustful guy who drop us in front of nice and spotlessly clean bungalow called “barbara’s”. and we found a nice old guy to whom we rent a kijang for further destination in samosir on the next days.
alas, barbara’s in ambarita peninsula provides delicious meals. home-made cooking. and children of the owner themselves tidy-up our bedroom in a quick –but clean for sure– way. nicholas like to address them as “our F1 team”🙂
another added value are: they have hot shower and the bungalow itself situated in the edge of the lake toba. a bit remain us to our trip to lake maninjau, west sumatra.
within 2 days visit of samosir island, we already visit tuktuk and ambarita. we visit old king cemetery, old wooden traditional batak toba’s houses, tau-tau the spiritual wooden mannequin until further away to the old bridge that connected samosir with sumatra mainland. it’s so called jembatan diponggol or dipenggal in indonesian and literally means to be cut in english.
we just found the fact that samosir islet is not really standing still by its own by the lake. but it still have a small connection with sumatra island. but during dutch occupancy, these conquerors doesn’t like our heroes a.k.a extremists in their vocab to have easy connection from and to sumatra. their tactical movement is to cut the part of connection and there was from where the name “diponggol” is derived.
and special menu for nicholas after we back from trip to barbara’s: roasted pork with steam rice and i enjoy traditional arsik –golden fish steamed into several kind of herbs– with steam rice. after playing one of our fave games yathzee, we go sleeping and hello …. we are watching brand new sunrise of 2004 over lake toba. happy new year everyone!
and by mid-day we’re going to tuktuk to catch our ferry and again stay overnight at pematangsiantar. at the next morning, we back to medan by train. passing scenic enroute and my sweetheart whispering me, “i don’t want this journey come to an end.”🙂